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JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
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Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce

Anyone contemplating, or indeed involved in, a divorce, is likely to have unanswered questions. Below are answers to some of the questions we are most frequently asked about divorce.

Click on a link to see the answer to that question or contact us if you have a question which is not listed.

How long do I have to be married to get a divorce?

In England you can start divorce proceedings after you have been married for one year.

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What are the grounds for a divorce?

A divorce is defined as the ‘irretrievable breakdown of a marriage’. You have to prove irretrievable breakdown with one of five facts.

  • Adulterycontact us
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separated for two years and both parties consent to divorce
  • Separated for five years without consent
  • Desertion for at least two years

Please see our page on Grounds for Divorce for more information.

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Can I use my own adultery as reason for a divorce?

No, as it does not fit into one of the 5 legally accepted grounds for divorce. If you want to be the one petitioning your partner for divorce you would have to use one of the 5 grounds listed above.

Your spouse, however, can petition you for divorce on the basis of your adultery.

Please see our page on Grounds for Divorce for more information.

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Will I have to go to Court to get a divorce?

Not always. Court hearings usually arise when agreement cannot be reached on things such as finances and arrangements for children. Not often for the actual divorce itself.

In straightforward divorce cases you will not have to go to court. If the divorce is uncontested by your spouse and you are able to reach agreement on finances and children, a formal court hearing is unlikely to be necessary.

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How long does a divorce take?

Each divorce is different, but a typical divorce can take between 4 and 6 months if things are straightforward.

Much depends on whether or not your spouse responds quickly when he or she receives your petition. The divorce may also be delayed due to the division of matrimonial assets as itis best to completely resolve this before you apply for the decree absolute. The divorce could also be delayed by any problems concerning the children.

In general, the more you and your spouse can agree on, the quicker the divorce process will be.

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How much does a divorce cost?

The cost depends on a number of factors. A straightforward divorce with no complications will cost less than one where in depth negotiations and disputes about finances and children are involved.

Contact us for an estimate or see our page on Family Law costs for more information.

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If I move out of the house, will this affect my legal rights?

In general a spouse will not be penalised for moving out of the family home in terms of the ultimate financial settlement.

Although your legal rights are not affected by moving out, other factors will be affected. For example you will temporarily lose access to personal possessions.

If you are considering moving out of the family home it is always advisable to take legal advice from a specialist family solicitor first. Please contact us for more information.

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What if my husband / wife defends the proceedings?

Defended divorces are extremely rare as people usually recognise that there is little point in trying to keep a marriage alive when the contact usother spouse considers the relationship at an end. Also, defending a divorce is also likely to increase the cost for both parties.

It is more common for someone to dispute the reasons stated for a divorce in the petition, for example if they are accused of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. When this happens it can cause a delay in the divorce process or it may mean that a suitable alternative reason has to be found which both parties can agree on. We will help you to find the most suitable reason when petitioning for a divorce.

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